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Attendance at meetings


Guest Ian55205

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Setting aside those public bodies governed by sunshine laws which provide that such meetings must be open to the public, I cannot find the provision in RONR except where, 11th ed, p. 96, ll 32 ... it says "Some bodies, especially public ones, may invite nonmembers to express their views, but this is done under the control of the presiding officer subject to any relevant rules adopted by the body and subject to appeal by a member.

Unless there is a further provision in RONr, would it mean that whether or not the chair wants the person present, the chair can do nothing advance except say so (or not say so) and, in any case, tell the requestor that it will be up to the assembly?

... and then, when the meeting comes to order, identifies to the assembly that one or more persons had asked whether they be permitted to attend, and the chair then identifies whether or not a rule already exists on such requests (which even if it existed the assembly could decide whether to suspend the rules which would need a 2/3 vote in favor) and absent such rule would be determined by the absence of objection or by a majority vote?

Would it be out of order, or only (potentially) prejudicial, for the Chair to speak on whether or not he or she thinks such attendance advisable?

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Sorry, I did not mean to expand the question beyond the asker's scope which on re-reading was on speaking, not attending. Please therefore interpret my post as asking clarification of how an advance request by this guest to speak be handled i.e. whether the chair, after being aware of or consulting the rules, handles it as above.

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Sorry, I did not mean to expand the question beyond the asker's scope which on re-reading was on speaking, not attending. Please therefore interpret my post as asking clarification of how an advance request by this guest to speak be handled i.e. whether the chair, after being aware of or consulting the rules, handles it as above.

It seems to me the chair will simply follow any adopted rules, or custom relating to this matter.

If there are none, and RONR rules the day, at the meeting the chair can put the question to the assembly, either by seeking unanimous consent or putting the request to a vote. Also, if there are no rules or custom the chair would be wise to tell the person making the request the assembly will decide at its meeting.

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... and then, when the meeting comes to order, identifies to the assembly that one or more persons had asked whether they be permitted to attend, and the chair then identifies whether or not a rule already exists on such requests (which even if it existed the assembly could decide whether to suspend the rules which would need a 2/3 vote in favor) and absent such rule would be determined by the absence of objection or by a majority vote?

Guest Jim,

With all due respect for what seem to be your sincere efforts to participate intelligently in the discussion, I happen to find this type of anfractuosity of syntax to be a bit mind-numbing. I mean, 80 words in one question, and it's not even a full sentence?

Be kind, please rewind.

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Setting aside those public bodies governed by sunshine laws which provide that such meetings must be open to the public, I cannot find the provision in RONR except where, 11th ed, p. 96, ll 32 ... it says "Some bodies, especially public ones, may invite nonmembers to express their views, but this is done under the control of the presiding officer subject to any relevant rules adopted by the body and subject to appeal by a member.

See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 644, line 29 - pg. 645, line 3; pg. 263, footnote.

Unless there is a further provision in RONr, would it mean that whether or not the chair wants the person present, the chair can do nothing advance except say so (or not say so) and, in any case, tell the requestor that it will be up to the assembly?

Yes, unless the organization's rules provide otherwise.

... and then, when the meeting comes to order, identifies to the assembly that one or more persons had asked whether they be permitted to attend, and the chair then identifies whether or not a rule already exists on such requests (which even if it existed the assembly could decide whether to suspend the rules which would need a 2/3 vote in favor) and absent such rule would be determined by the absence of objection or by a majority vote?

The chair can also follow the assembly's customs on the subject. Additionally, a rule of this nature would be a standing rule, so a majority vote would be sufficient to suspend it.

Would it be out of order, or only (potentially) prejudicial, for the Chair to speak on whether or not he or she thinks such attendance advisable?

Unless the assembly is following the small board rules the chair should, as usual, refrain from speaking in debate while presiding.

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